Conexant Working with Amazon to Create AudioSmart 2-mic Development Kit for Amazon Alexa

Conexant and Amazon deliver noise robust tools for manufacturers and developers to prototype and develop Alexa-enabled devices capable of hearing users from several meters away

IRVINE, Calif., Dec. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Conexant Systems, Inc., a leading provider of audio and voice technology solutions that enable a more natural user experience, today announced that it is collaborating with Amazon to release an Alexa Voice Service (AVS) approved AudioSmart™ 2-mic Development Kit for smart home applications, and are making it available to manufacturers and developers via the Amazon AVS for Raspberry Pi project. Featuring the Conexant AudioSmart CX20921 high-performance Hands-free Voice Input Processor, and Alexa wake word technology, Conexant's AudioSmart 2-mic Development Kit for Amazon AVS will allow product developers to quickly and easily build products with Alexa that offer an ideal voice user experience.


Enabling speech recognition and voice control from a distance requires overcoming substantial acoustic challenges related to echo cancellation, background noise, position of microphones, speaker placement and more. Conexant's dual-microphone voice processing solution is designed to recognize the Alexa wake word and deliver speech requests for processing from anywhere in the room, even in noisy, real-world conditions. The solution also enables voice barge-in capabilities, allowing users to interrupt their Alexa device when it's playing sound. The AudioSmart 2-mic Development Kit will save engineering time and reduce costs related to developing noise robust voice-enabled devices.

"We created our AVS for Raspberry Pi project to help expedite the development of Alexa smart home products," said Steve Rabuchin, Vice President Amazon Alexa. "Conexant's AudioSmart 2-mic Development Kit for Amazon AVS unlocks serious voice capture capabilities, allowing developers to achieve a far better AVS user experience through vital voice processing technologies that overcome acoustic and distance challenges. Utilizing Conexant's AVS approved solutions will help third-party manufacturers quickly innovate with Alexa."

The core component of the development kit is Conexant's AudioSmart CX20921 Voice Input Processor running its industry-leading hands-free voice pre-processing software technology. The Conexant hands-free voice input processor system captures the user's voice from anywhere within the room, separates the voice commands from music and voice prompts being played out of the device, even with background noise present, and provides a clean audio signal to the AVS cloud for speech recognition processing. This solution ensures that AVS hears only the user's command, and nothing else, which in turn provides a consistently accurate AVS experience.

Beyond prototyping, Conexant expedites time to market by directly providing third-party manufacturers with cost-effective, production-ready hardware solutions and voice pre-processing software technology. Key benefits of the Conexant AudioSmart™ CX20921 Voice Input Processor include:

Cost-effective hands-free voice interaction with only two microphones
Proprietary Smart Source Pickup™ technology both detects voice and cancels noise from any direction, even if it's coming from the same direction as speech
Voice barge-in enabled by full duplex stereo acoustic echo cancellation (AEC) - detects the Alexa wake word even during loud playback of music or voice prompts
High-dynamic range analog-to-digital converters (ADC), optimized for far-field, supports connections to analog microphones and PDM interfaces for connection to digital MEMS microphones
"We created our AudioSmart 2-mic Development Kit to provide third-party AVS developers with a high-performance alternative to multi-mic array designs, supporting high-volume consumer price points," said Saleel Awsare, President at Conexant. "Our AudioSmart 2-mic Development Kit was designed to be easily integrated into any AVS system prototype based on the Raspberry Pi, and we worked closely with Amazon to ensure excellent hands-free voice performance capabilities with AVS. Together with Amazon, we are providing the tools that developers need to prototype with a two-microphone voice capture system and Conexant's advanced voice pre-processing technologies. Our development kit is based on proven technology that is currently deployed in millions of consumer devices and enables developers to quickly create working AVS device prototypes in just a couple of weeks opposed to several months."

To learn more about Conexant and this announcement, please visit www.conexant.com/amazon-avs/ follow them on LinkedIn, like them on Facebook, and view their videos on YouTube.

About Conexant:

Conexant Systems, Inc. is the CE industry's go-to source for hardware and software solutions that offer unrivaled performance for audio and voice applications. The company combines its significant IP portfolio in DSP, analog and mixed signal technology with embedded software to enrich and expand audio and voice capabilities of products across nearly every vertical of the CE space. Founded in 1999, Conexant is a privately-held fabless semiconductor and audio technology engineering company headquartered in Irvine, California with offices and design centers worldwide.

About Amazon:

Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit www.amazon.com/about.

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